OWYHEE COUNTY -- A year-long state investigation into the embattled Owyhee County sheriff is complete, and the Idaho Attorney General's Office says it has not found sufficient evidence to criminally charge Sheriff Daryl Crandall.
KTVB has obtained a nearly 700-page Attorney General's Office report that details the investigation into serious allegations. In 2011, the county prosecutor confirmed two computers were seized from the sheriff's office in connection with allegations made in an anonymous letter.
That unsigned letter to the county treasurer and other complaints were forwarded by the prosecutor to the AG's Office for investigation and prosecutorial review. Investigators took and analyzed two computers, interviewed employees and Crandall, read written reports and looked at evidence for a year.
The subsequent report details more than a dozen serious allegations: Viewing pornography on his work computer, engaging in sexual contact with another county employee, allowing an unauthorized person to view a law enforcement database, taking firearms seized during operations to keep for himself, coercing a jail inmate into making a false report against an officer, allowing a non-POST certified staff member to act as a peace officer, and creating a hostile workplace and retaliating against employees.
Following the investigation, the AG's office told the Owyhee County prosecutor the review found insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against Crandall or any other person in the office.
Although Crandall will not be criminally charged for the allegations presented to the AG's office, the county's prosecutor says it's possible someone could attempt civil action.
Other allegations have plagued Crandall's years in office, including a recall attempt, commissioners calling for his resignation, and personnel complaints and lawsuits alleging wrongful termination. Some have been dismissed and others have been settled.
We've learned from the county a roughly $10,000 settlement was negotiated in May with a former deputy claiming unpaid wages. In March, another $48,550 settlement was made with a former jailer claiming wrongful termination.
Half of that settlement money came from a county tort fund, and the other half from the county's insurance carrier (ICRMP). ICRMP no longer covers personnel issues at the sheriff's office and jail, and the county prosecutor says that decision has to do with the wrongful termination case and others. ICRMP confirmed it has dropped that portion of Owyhee County's policy, but it still underwrites other portions.
Sheriff Crandall did not return calls for comment regarding the investigation or the settlements.